Lymphedema is a swelling caused by the accumulation of lymph fluid and occurs when lymph vessels or lymph nodes are blocked or removed. Men and women who undergo cancer treatments that involve surgery and/or radiation that include the removal or damage of lymph nodes may be at risk for lymphedema.
Many patients are given prescriptions for garments made of a tight stretchy fabric that will provide compression for the affected limb. The sleeves do not act as pumps but rather prevent accumulation of more fluid in the limb. Different levels of compression are based on whether the garment is used for prevention or maintenance.
A certified fitter must work with a patient to ensure lymphedema garments fit comfortably. Patients often need more than one sleeve because therapy treatments and the lymphedema sleeve itself can alter the affected limb during this process. With daily use, sleeves wear out and must be refitted and replaced about every 6 months.
For compression garments, get a prescription from your doctor stating your diagnosis, whether the garment is for your arm or hand, and the amount of pressure for the garment. Most insurance companies cover lymphedema compression garments. Check with your insurance carrier for your specific coverage.
"Thank you so much for helping my mother with her fitting. She is very pleased with the results. Plus, she was very impressed with your expertise and care! I really appreciate the time and attention you have given to me and my mother; it has made all the difference."— Friends' Place customer
Making an appointment for a compression garment, wig, breast prosthesis, or bra fitting is helpful to us so we can give you our full attention and reduce your wait time. By scheduling ahead, we can verify the necessary prescription and insurance information, which will minimize your wait when you come in for your consultation. You can be confident that we will make every effort to accommodate your needs.
To schedule an appointment, please call 617-632-2211.
If we are able to accommodate walk-ins, we will be more than happy to help you.
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215 | Call us toll-free:
(866) 408-DFCI (3324)